ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The International Agency for Research on Cancer on Tuesday moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category -- "carcinogenic to humans," according to a new report.

Previously, the agency had classified sunlamps and tanning beds as "probably" carcinogenic, so the move puts the devices a notch higher in terms of risk. It also echoes calls by some U.S. experts to place tougher warnings and restrictions on tanning bed use.

"The use of tanning beds can be deleterious to your health and we hope to encourage governments to formulate restrictions and regulations for the use of tanning beds," said report coauthor Beatrice Secretan, from the Cancer Monograph Working Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. The Agency is part of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first priority of the WHO is to restrict the use of tanning beds by those under 18, Secretan said. "If controls are put in place it will reduce the risks of the users or deter people from using them," she said.

One U.S. expert agreed. "This new report confirms and extends the prior recommendation of the American Cancer Society that the use of tanning beds is dangerous to your health, and should be avoided," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

The report is published in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.

In June, scientists from nine countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer to pore over data associating tanning beds with the risk of skin cancer.

Their review concluded that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. In addition, several studies provided evidence of a link between the use of UV-emitting tanning devices and melanoma of the eye.

The genetic mutation caused by UV radiation has previously been attributed to UVB radiation alone. However, the same mutation was found in the skin of mice exposed to UVA radiation, and that radiation caused the mice to develop tumors, the researchers noted.

These findings caused the agency to reclassify all UV radiation -- including UVA, UVB and UVC -- as carcinogenic to humans. Previously the agency had classified UVA, UVB and UVC radiation as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"The report firmly establishes ultraviolet radiation as a human carcinogen," the American Cancer Society's Lichtenfeld said.

"Young women in particular are the heaviest users of tanning beds, and are at the greatest risk of causing harm to themselves," he said. "This report also puts to rest the argument that tanning with UVA light is safe."

A representative of the tanning bed industry was less impressed by the ruling, however.

"The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy," said Dan Humiston, president of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA). "The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a group 1 classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed."

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) each regulate tanning beds and sunlamps. The FDA regulates labeling of the devices and the FTC regulates advertising claims about the devices.

The FDA currently requires tanning salons to direct all customers to wear protective eye goggles and advises consumers to limit their exposure to tanning devices, and avoid them if you have certain medical conditions such as lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores.

In addition, the FDA requires labels on these devices that warn of skin aging, skin cancer and eye injury. However, in 2007 the FDA began a review of these warnings and is considering strengthening its warnings about the risk of skin cancer and eye damage, according to the agency.

Another expert, Dr. Jeffrey C. Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, believes the time has come for the FDA to restrict the use of tanning beds and to issue stronger warnings of their dangers.

"It's hard to raise the level of concern regarding the use of tanning beds any higher with what is being reported as a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma when tanning beds are used before the age of 30," Salomon reasoned. "Tanning beds now reside in the highest category of potential cancer risk, carcinogenic to humans. Legislation to restrict tanning bed use by minors and a requirement for a black box warning to consumers is now necessary," he said.

SOURCES: Beatrice Secretan, Ph.D., Cancer Monograph Working Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Jeffrey C. Salomon, M.D., assistant clinical professor, plastic surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dan Humiston, president, Indoor Tanning Association; August 2009, The Lancet Oncology Published on: July 29, 2009